Frampton’s team issues a statement after tickets for his homecoming fight in Belfast were sold out in just one minute.
Frampton sends a signed glove to Roy Larner, a 47 year old Millwall fan who took on three knife-wielding attackers during the London Bridge attack with his bare hands. As the terrorists entered the Black and Blue Steakhouse shouting their allegiances, Larner confronted them and yelled ‘Fuck You, I’m Millwall’ before fighting them. The Londoner was cut eight times, but he allowed the other 20 or so patrons time to escape unharmed. Larner, who has since been dubbed ‘The Lion of London Bridge,’ underwent surgery and was recently released from hospital
— Paul (@paulrichardso24) June 12, 2017
Mexican fighter Andres Gutierrez confirms he will be Frampton’s opponent for his July 29th homecoming fight in Belfast. The fight is believed to be an eliminator for the WBC title – although it is not specified whether it is for the featherweight belt held by Gary Russell Jr or the super featherweight belt held by Miguel Berchelt. As Gutierrez is ranked #10 at featherweight, with Frampton at #1, it is assumed to be a 126lbs eliminator. Gutierrez:
I know I have a great opportunity and I will not waste it. He had wanted this from a long time ago. I’m very happy for this news they gave me. I know it will be very difficult, but I have the character to prevail. I tell all the Querétanos that I’m not going to let them down that I’m going to put soul, life, and heart and I will fight for what I most want, that’s why I’ll prevail.
Frampton confirms he will fight in Belfast on July 29th. The opponent has yet to be named but Frampton has already ruled out a fight against IBF champion Lee Selby. Frampton has previously said that Windsor Park would be his preferred venue but the Irish FA has confirmed that it is still in negotiations with the boxer over the use of the stadium.
July 29th – keep it free. I can't wait to box @ home! Presser will be in the next week & tix will go on sale straight after #Homecoming 👊
— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) June 7, 2017
Delivering a promise made to his fans to fight in Ireland, Frampton says he will fight at Windsor Park on July 29th. No announcement of his opponent has been made. A third fight against Leo Santa Cruz seems unlikely, due to the Mexican’s unwillingness to travel. Lee Selby has also been rumoured, but his team say there has been no contact about a fight.
Frampton sends the shorts he wore when he won against Leo Santa Cruz to the father of Gonzalez Jr, who he had beaten in his first professional fight in the US.
Got this message today. Alejandro Gonzalez dad received my fight shorts from the LSC fight. Hope it brought a smile to his face. RIP Cobrita.
[If anyone can speak Spanish, please leave a translation in the comments. Thanks!]
Got this message today. Alejandro Gonzalez dad received my fight shorts from the LSC fight. Hope it brought a smile to his face. RIP Cobrita pic.twitter.com/1VmGsjUobn
— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) March 18, 2017
Frampton says he wants his next fight to be in Belfast, whoever he fights against.
If I can get Leo Santa Cruz, and I can get him in Belfast, I do not believe there is a man in and around this weight division who could beat me in Belfast. Hopefully Santa Cruz can come – I don’t know if he will. My next fight will be in Belfast, no matter who it is against. It’ll probably take me a while to get over it [the loss] if I’m being honest. It’s never going to be easy but look, you just have to forget about these things. This is sport, people lose sometimes in sport. It’s about how you come back, and if I believe I can come back stronger. I’m disappointed, I’m disappointed for myself, I’m disappointed for my fans, but listen, they were outstanding and I’m very, very thankful. I want to keep being involved in big fights and big memorable nights. I just hope everyone enjoyed themselves and I hope that they remember it for a very long time.
Frampton buys drinks for his travelling fans at an Irish-themed bar in Las Vegas.
I am down in the dumps, but I am not going to not turn up because I lost the fight. The people who came out here have been amazing and I appreciate it. It is very humbling – we took over that arena last night.
Frampton loses for the first time in his professional career as Santa Cruz beats him on points at the the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to regain the WBA featherweight title. One judge scored the fight a draw, but the other two favoured Santa Cruz 115-113. Frampton asks for a rematch in Belfast. Santa Cruz:
He is a great fighter and a great counter-puncher. It was tough to change my style. In my head I wanted to go for it, but I was told to box him and that’s what I did. I am a man of my word. Let’s go again.
Leo probably deserved it. It was my fault and I want to apologise to the travelling fans. I hope we can do it again – we need to do it again…My feet were a bit slow. I needed to let my hands go a bit more when I got close. We had a fantastic training camp, I felt completely prepared. I feel like I’ve let the people down.
Frampton praises McGregor, saying that but that McGregor reached out to him before some of his previous fights.
For combat sports probably (we are the top two) but I think McGregor stands alone. He is a huge name all over the world. He is a massive star who I admire a lot but I am pretty happy with what I am doing and the fan base I got. We’re completely different characters. McGregor is doing his thing. But fair play to him. He seems to be raking it in and why not? I really like him. I haven’t met him yet. I’m still looking to meet him. He’s never been to a fight of mine. But he’s watched me a few times, he’s sent me a few video messages privately just to wish me luck in fights. He’s a good guy. He has this persona, but he’s playing the game and fair play to him.
Frampton says that after he beats Santa Cruz he has his sights set on Selby.
I think that’s a huge fight. It’s appealing to the boxing public, especially in the UK. Maybe not so much in the States, but it’s a big fight in this part of the world. I believe, although Lee has been more established as a featherweight, and he’s had a few defences of his title, I believe I’m the draw in that fight. I’m the one that sells the tickets and if the fight is going to happen, it happens on our terms and happens in Belfast. If he’s willing to come to Belfast and have a unification fight with me in the summer after I beat Santa Cruz, then I’m happy to have it. He’s a very good fighter, he’s someone who I have talked about a lot and I respect him. I think him and his brother Andrew are two of the most skilful fighters in the UK, but I just want to be involved in these big fights. It’s another unification fight, it’s another chance for me to create more of a legacy and more history. These are the type of fights that I want to be involved in.
Frampton is interviewed by The Guardian. He talks about growing up in Ireland.
I was always quiet and even timid. A few years ago I read about [the boy he fought]. At least I think it was him. A newspaper report said he’d ended up in jail after stabbing another man. When I was seven he seemed so much tougher, rough and bigger than me. I was just a very wee boy shitting himself.
On upcoming bout with Léo Santa Cruz.
I don’t see any way Léo can change his game. He will just come after me as hard as last time. He threw 1,100 punches at me that night. He can’t do much more this time … but, even if he does, it will just give me more chances to nail him…I’ve watched the first fight a few times and I made plenty of mistakes. Sometimes I stood my ground too long. Even when I moved back I was doing so in straight lines. I got clipped with combinations as he has pretty long arms. So if I take one step and then meet him and counter I can cut out so many mistakes.
Kriegel interviews Frampton in Belfast.
Even since I was a kid, it’s a much easier place to live. I kind of grew up at the back end of the troubles. The troubles were almost over when I grew up, and there was a still a lot of fighting between the Catholics and the Protestants. Now it’s a much more inclusive city. It’s moved on a lot. I feel like I should have a job for the Tourist Board. I’m constantly promoting Belfast..This is a good city…I started boxing when I was seven years old. And I was in and out of Catholic/Nationalist areas all the time. So I never really got involved in too much trouble…They tried to keep religion out of boxing, and it’s one of the only sports it can really happen in..It’s a respect thing, and people respect good fighters over here. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you come from…People want to look at me and say I’m a new figure for Northern Ireland. I’m a Protestant married to a Catholic. This is a ‘new age’ thing.
As part of his role as a Live Well Ambassador for Centra, Shane McGuigan gives a behind-the-scenes tour of the house, as well as the Shawn Porter’s gym, where Frampton is currently in training. Frampton, along with trainer Shane McGuigan, manager Barry McGuigan, and stablemates Josh Taylor and Josh Pritchard are currently renting former world champion Robert Guerrero’s house in the Las Vegas suburb of Blue Diamond.
Frampton says he is looking forward to the Santa Cruz fight.
I am confident I will knock this guy out on January 28th. The signs are good in training and I just can’t wait to get out there. I feel good, young and fresh and Santa Cruz will discover just how good I am. I have felt great in training. I know a lot of boxers say they have had an ‘amazing camp’ and they feel ‘in the best shape ever.’ but I really do feel that way. I am knocking my sparring partners out, and I am better than ever. I am looking forward to this fight and I am bringing the belt back with me to Belfast.
ESPN.com awards Frampton “Fighter of the year”:
No other fighter in 2016 scored such an impressive combination of victories in high-profile bouts against elite opponents — in multiple divisions, on the road — with one of them a contender for fight of the year.
It’s been a great year for myself. I’ve fought on the road twice against two good fighters. The biggest win for me was the Leo Santa Cruz fight. He was a three-weight world champion and most of the press and bookies picked him to win. You can see the difference in how I reacted at the end of both fights. I knew I was a better fighter than Quigg, but the Santa Cruz victory was the one I got more pleasure from. Being even considered as a fighter of the year is a huge honor for me and very humbling. But the thing is, I’m kicking off 2017 with a bang and it has the potential to be even better than ’16.
Frampton makes the shortlist for the RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year. Other sportspeople shortlisted include UFC fighter Conor McGregor, rugby player Jamie Heaslip, and Olympic rowing medalist Paul O’Donovan. The winner is determined by fans, who can vote for Frampton by texting ‘E’ to 53125 (Ire & NI only), or by voting online here. Voting closes Monday 12 December at 10am with the winner announced live on Saturday 17 December. The award ceremony will be screened the same day at 9pm.
Frampton says McGregor cannot beat Mayweather.
He’s almost like sticking the fingers up to the UFC. He can say ‘I can do what I want’. I like him. Fair play to him. We don’t know [if he’s the real deal in boxing] yet. Give him a year or so and who knows? He comes from a boxing background…He can obviously punch very hard…I would love to [work out with him]. He’s someone I admire a lot.
Can he hang in there with Mayweather.
No-one can. Not at boxing.
The WBA announces that Frampton will defend his WBA featherweight title for the first time against former holder Santa Cruz on January 28, 2017, in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Arena. Both the Barclays Centre in New York and the MGM had been placed on hold, with Vegas eventually winning out. The headline fight will be supported by a lightweight title fight between champion Dejan Zlaticanin and Mikey Garcia.
Jeez, if I wasn't busy that night I'd love to watch this bill https://t.co/H1rserWT5M
— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) October 20, 2016
In a unanimous decision after 12 rounds, Frampton beats Gonzalez in El Paso, Texas. Two judges scoring 116-108 in Frampton’s favour while the third scores 115-109. Frampton is put on his knees twice and given a standing eight count in the first round. Frampton:
My legs went stiff and I couldn’t use my toes for a while, but it was a flash knockdown, I came back and I won. The performance wasn’t great and I really wanted another knockout but I’ll take the win
Frampton, wearing grey, shows his skills in the ring age of eight or nine, at Midland Boxing Club.